An undergraduate degree (also called first degree, bachelor's degree or simply degree) is a colloquial term for an academic degree taken by a person who has completed undergraduate courses. It is usually offered at an institution of higher education, such as a university. The most common type of this degree is the bachelor's degree, which typically takes at least three or four years to complete.
In the United Kingdom, the degree of bachelor is the most common type of "undergraduate degree", although some master's degrees can be undertaken immediately after finishing secondary education; however these courses are extended versions of bachelor's degree programs, taking an additional year to complete. Most bachelor's degrees take three years to complete, with some notable exceptions, such as Medicine taking five years. Often students can initially enroll in a 4 year program then leave after three years and be awarded a bachelor's degree.
First professional degrees sometimes contain the word Doctor, but are still considered undergraduate degrees in most countries, including Canada. For example, the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program in Canada is considered an "undergraduate degree." However, in the United States, most first professional degrees are considered graduate programs by the U.S. Department of Education and require students to already possess an "undergraduate degree" before admission. These degrees are not research doctorates and are therefore not equivalent to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Many countries offer bachelor's degrees that are equivalent to American graduate degrees. For example, the Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degrees offered in the U.S. are equivalent to the Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS or MBChB) degree.
In the United States and sometimes in Canada, an Associate's Degree is a two-year degree. It is occasionally undertaken as the beginning of a four-year degree. Some two-year institutions have articulation agreements with four-year institutions, which specify which courses transfer without problems.
The Arizona General Education Curriculum certification (AGEC), awarded for the completion of an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or Associate of Business degree respectively, indicates the completion of all Bachelor's degree lower level course work and permits the student to block transfer to any of the three state universities and several private universities as a third year student or "Junior."
To obtain an AGEC certification, one must:
- Complete all Associate Degree credits at regionally accredited colleges (no Secondary(High) School credits accepted);
- Satisfy all their Bachelor's Degree Lower Division Credits and Courses;
- Meet credit transfer restriction guidelines;
- Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0
Although an AGEC certification meets the requirements for the Bachelors Degree Lower Level it may or may not meet any prerequisite requirements for any given degree program. Associates degrees with an AGEC certification are often custom tailored with electives to meet the prerequisite requirements for the program and university the student wishes to transfer to.
Virginia’s community college have signed system-wide agreements, allowing students who graduate from one of the 23 community colleges with a transfer associates degree and a minimum grade point average to obtain guaranteed admission to more than 20 of the Commonwealth's four-year colleges and universities.
Argentine higher education system is based, since its conception during the colonial period, on the old and dogmatic Spanish higher education system, which is basically a Continental education system (opposed to the Anglo-Saxon Model). A historic event took place in the Reforma Universitaria de 1918, a highly-popular series of reforms that took place in the oldest university of the Country, the Universidad de Córdoba that finally paved the way to the modernization of the Argentinian higher university systems as it is known nowadays. Since its foundation, it was focused on the teaching of Professions offering Professional degrees.
It is divided in three levels .
- Tertiary Education level: 1- to 3-years degrees related to education or technical professions like Teachers, Professorship, Technicians.
- University level: 4- to 6-years Professional education taught at Universities offering many different degrees Licentiate, Engineering degree, Medic Title, Attorney Title, Professorships, Translation degrees, etc.
- Post-graduate level: This is a specialized and research-oriented education level. It is roughly divided in a first sub-level where a Specialist degree can be obtained in a 12–18 months period or Master degree, requiring 24–30 months and an original research work and a higher sub-level where a Doctorate degree could be ach
The University of Buenos Aires (Spanish: Universidad de Buenos Aires, UBA) is the largest university in Argentina and the second largest university by enrollment in Latin America. Founded on August 12, 1821 in the city of Buenos Aires, it consists of 13 departments, 6 hospitals, 10 museums and is linked to 4 high schools: Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires, Escuela Superior de Comercio Carlos Pellegrini, Instituto Libre de Segunda Enseñanza and Escuela de Educación Técnica Profesional en Producción Agropecuaria y Agroalimentaria.
Entry to any of the available programmes of study in the university is open to anyone with a secondary school degree; in most cases, students who have successfully completed high school must pass a first year called CBC, which stands for Ciclo Básico Común (Common Basic Cycle). Only upon completion of this first year may the student enter the chosen school; until then, they must attend courses in different buildings, and have up to 3 years to finish the 6 or 7 subjects (which vary depending on the programme of study chosen) assigned in two groups of 3 or 4. Each subject is of one semester duration (March–July or August–November). If someone passes all 6 subjects in their respective semester, the CBC will take only one year. Potential students of economics, instead, take a 2-year common cycle, the "CBG" (General Basic Cycle), comprising 12 subjects.
The UBA has no central campus. A centralized Ciudad Universitaria (literally, "university city") was started in the 1960s, but contains only two schools, with the others at different locations in Buenos Aires.
Access to the university is free of charge for everyone, including foreigners. However, the postgraduate programs charge tuition fees that can be covered with research scholarships for those students with outstanding academic performance.
The university has produced more Nobel Prize laureates (four) than any other Spanish-speaking institution. It is currently the best ranked Argentine university in college and university rankings, present at number 197 of the Top Universities 2008 and at number 151-200 of the 2010 Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranking. According to the 2010 University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP), the university is the best in Argentina and the 247th in the world, and, according to TopUniversities, it is the 46th best university in the world taking into account employer reputation.
Education in Bolivia, as in many other areas of Bolivian life, has a divide between Bolivia's rural and urban areas. Rural illiteracy levels remain high, even as the rest of the country becomes increasingly literate. This disparity stems partly from the fact that many children living in rural area ation[dubious – discuss] are not necessarily attributable to lack of funding. Bolivia devotes 23% of its annual budget to educational expenditures, a higher percentage than in most other South American countries, albeit from a smaller national budget. A comprehensive, education reform has made some significant changes. Initiated in 1994, the reform decentralized educational funding in order to meet diverse local needs, improved teacher training and curricula, formalized and expanded intercultural bilingual education and changed the school grade system. Resistance from teachers’ unions, however, has slowed implementation of some of the intended reforms (Contreras and Talavera, 2003).
- Universidad Católica Boliviana Tarija, Unidad Académica Regional Tarija;
- Universidad Católica Boliviana Cochabamba, Unidad Académica Regional Cochabamba;
- Universidad Católica Boliviana Santa Curz, Unidad Académica Regional Santa Cruz;
- Unidad Académica Campesina-Carmen Pampa, Carmen Pampa; a satellite campus of the Catholic University of Bolivia
Engineering students and Scientists from all over the world are conducting research and are studing Pumapunku, a terraced earthen mound that is faced with blocks. It is 167.36 metres (549.1 feet) wide along its north-south axis and 116.7 metres (383 feet) long along its east-west axis. On the northeast and southeast corners of the Pumapunku it has 20-metre (66-foot) wide projections that extend 27.6 metres (91 feet) north and south from the rectangular mound. The eastern edge of the Pumapunku is occupied by what is called the "Plataforma Lítica". The Plataforma Lítica consists of a stone terrace that is 6.75 by 38.72 metres (22.1 by 127.0 feet) in dimension. This terrace is paved with multiple, enormous stone blocks. It contains the largest stone slab found in both the Pumapunku and Tiwanaku Site, measuring 7.81 metres (25.6 feet) long, 5.17 metres (17.0 feet) wide and averages 1.07 m (3 ft 6 in) thick. Based upon the specific gravity of the red sandstone from which it was carved, this stone slab has been estimated to weigh 131 metric tons.
The other stonework and facing of the Pumapunku consists of a mixture of andesite and red sandstone. The core of the Pumapunku consists of clay. The fill underlying selected parts of the edge of the Pumapunku consists of river sand and cobbles instead of clay. Excavations at the Pumapunku have documented "three major building epochs, in addition to small repairs and remodeling".
At its peak, Pumapunku is thought to have been "unimaginably wondrous," adorned with polished metal plaques, brightly colored ceramic and fabric ornamentation, trafficked by costumed citizens, elaborately dressed priests and elites decked in exotic jewelry. Current understanding of this complex is limited due to its age, the lack of a written record, the current deteriorated state of the structures due to treasure hunting, looting, stone mining for building stone and railroad ballast, and natural weathering.
The area within the kilometer separating the Pumapunku and Kalasasaya complexes has been surveyed using ground-penetrating radar, magnetometry, induced electrical conductivity, and magnetic susceptibility. The geophysical data collected from these surveys and excavations have revealed in the area between the Pumapunku and Kalasasaya complexes the presence of numerous man-made structures. These structures include the wall foundations of buildings and compounds, water conduits, pool-like features, revetments, terraces, residential compounds, and widespread gravel pavements all of which now lie buried and hidden beneath the modern ground’s surface.
For a better understanding of education levels in Brazil, it is necessary to understand the structure of the higher education in the country. The present Brazilian system is organized according to the law that establishes the guidelines and bases for national education - Law n. 9.394 of December 20, 1996.
The classification of institutions of higher education happens according to their academic organization, and the following names are possible: Universities, University Centers, Colleges and Integrated Schools, Colleges and Institutes and Centers of Technological Education.
The higher education courses have two different academic levels, known as Undergraduate or Post Graduation. These degrees, have subdivisions in which are distributed programs of higher education in Brazil, and they may be bachelors, licentiates, and technologists, for Undergraduate levels.
As for specializations, there are MBAs, Post-MBAs programs and for Post-graduation there are academic master’s, professional master's degrees and doctorates. At the undergraduate level, there are still community colleges and further education courses.
Diplomas and Certificates
At the undergraduate level, the Bachelor degrees, licentiates and technologist, provide undergraduation diplomas, while colleges and Extension courses provide certificates of completion. The law formalizes a B.A., Licentiate or Technologist degrees, according to the student's education, and is prerequisite to begin a Postgraduate degree course.
In the Postgrad, only students graduating from Stricto Sensu courses, that is, academic or professional master's and doctoral degrees and are given the titles of Master or Doctor, respectively. For students of the Lato Sensu - specializations, MBA programs and Post-MBA programs - is given certificates of completion and the title Specialist.
Graduate degrees in Brazil are called "postgraduate" degrees, and can be taken only after a 4-6 year long "bachelor's degree".
- Lato sensu graduate degrees: degrees that represent a specialization in a certain area, and take from 1 to 2 years to complete. Sometimes it can be used to describe a specialization level between a Master's Degree and a MBA. In that sense, the main difference is that the Lato Sensu courses tend to go deeper into the scientific aspects of the study field, while MBA programs tend to be more focused on the practical and professional aspects, being used more frequently to Business, Management and Administration areas. However, since there are no norms to regulate this, both names are used indiscriminately most of the time.
- Stricto sensu graduate degrees: degrees for those who wish to pursue an academic career.
- Masters: 2 years for completion. Usually serves as additional qualification for those seeking a differential on the job market (and maybe later a PhD), or for those who want to pursue a PhD. Most doctoral programs in Brazil require a Master's Degree (stricto sensu), meaning that a Lato Sensu Degree is usually insufficient to start a doctoral program.
- Doctors / PhD: 3–4 years for completion. Usually used as a stepping stone for academic life.
The Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, often abbreviated as PUC-SP), popularly known as PUC or the Catholic University (Universidade Católica) is a private and non-profit Catholic university. It is one of the largest and most prestigious Brazilian universities. It is maintained by the Catholic Archdiocese of São Paulo.
Most of the scientific production in PUC-SP can be found in the areas of Law, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Economics, Education, Social Service and Communication, and, in these areas, it is considered one of the most important universities in Latin America, and internationally recognized by the issues and research in disorders of human communication, political economics, semiotics and psychology.
PUC-SP was the first university in Brazil to offer graduate programmes in the areas of Social Service, Psychology of Learning, Applied Linguistics and Speech-language Therapy. It also was the second university to offer a bachelor's degree in International Relations, which offers "double diplôme" for selected students that can finish their studies in Sciences Po. Since 2003, PUC-SP participates in the joint graduate program in International Relations Programa San Tiago Dantas together with UNICAMP and UNESP, one of the most important graduate programmes in the area in Brazil. Since 2010 it also offers a joint Masters Degree with Pantheon-Sorbonne University at "Economie de La Mondialisation" ("Mestrado Profissional em Economia da Mundialização e do Desenvolvimento").
The Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo was founded in 1946, from the union of the Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de São Bento (School of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of São Bento, founded in 1908) and the Paulista School of Law. Together, four other institutions of the Church were connected. Founded by the archbishop of São Paulo, Cardinal Carlos Carmelo Vasconcellos Motta as the "Catholic University of São Paulo", the university received the title of "Pontifical Catholic University" in 1947, by the Pope Pius XII. In 1969s, PUC-SP was the first university in Brazil to have a post-graduation course.
The Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, often abbreviated as PUC-Rio) is a major private and non-profit Catholic university, located in Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil. It is maintained by the Catholic Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and the Society of Jesus.
The University was created in 1941 by the Society of Jesus in order to develop knowledge based on humanistic values. With approximately 12,000 undergraduate students, 2,500 postgraduate students and 4,000 extension students, PUC-Rio is consistently recognized as one of the top universities in Brazil. In 2009, it outperformed all other Brazilian universities in ENADE, an important benchmarking exercise of the Brazilian Ministry of Education. One can fully appreciate the scale of this in noting that, by 2008, Brazil had 2,252 higher education institutions.
PUC-Rio is widely acclaimed for its local excellence in Law, Engineering, Computer science, Psychology, Economics, Business and International Relations. The University is also known for its free cultural aspect. It has always tried to bring in the broadest types of students in order to foster and develop diversity amongst its student body. PUC-Rio has been responsible for the formation and education of many professionals who have become influential and important characters of Brazilian society.
In the past few years PUC-Rio has been developing international exchange programs with universities all over the world. Universities such as Harvard, Notre Dame, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Brown University and many other European centers have participated in the program, which is responsible for the exchange of hundreds of students every year.
The University is located in Gávea (Google maps), a neighborhood located in the south zone of the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. It sits right at the edge of the Tijuca Forest (a national forest), with a river extending from the forest through the entrance of PUC-Rio. Tree-covered mountains make up the north view of the campus. The campus is located in a place which used to be a coffee farm long ago. A river divides the university campus in two, and there are three small bridges to connect these halves. The campus was built with donations from many institutions and foundations in the early 1940s. A special donation was given by the USA during President John Kennedy's administration, which was thanked by the erection of a bust of Kennedy and by the naming of a building after the president within the PUC campus.
The Ecuadorian Constitution requires that all children attend school until they achieve a “basic level of education,” which is estimated at nine school years. Research has been published placing the quality of education in Ecuador as the worst in Latin America.
EPN is known for research and education in the applied science, astronomy, atmospheric physics, engineering and physical sciences. The Geophysics Institute monitors over the countries volcanos in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador and in the Galápagos Islands. EPN adopted the polytechnic university model that stresses laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering.
The Oldest Observatory in South America is the Quito Astronomical Observatory and is located in Quito, Ecuador. The Quito Astronomical Observatory, which gives the global community a Virtual Telescope System that is connectied via the Internet and allows the world to watch by streaming, is managed by EPN. 
National Polytechnic School houses an international team of seismologists and volcanologists at the Geophysicics Institute  with the task of monitoring all the seismic activity in the county. Earthquakes are measured using observations from seismometers. The moment magnitude is the most common scale on which earthquakes larger than approximately 5 are reported for the entire globe. The more numerous earthquakes smaller than magnitude 5 reported by national seismological observatories are measured mostly on the local magnitude scale, also referred to as the Richter magnitude scale. There are many geologists who study the eruptive activity for the volcanos in the country and observe volcanic eruptions, especially Tungurahua whose volcanic activity restarted on August 19, 1999, and is ongoing as of 2013[update], with several major eruptions since that period, the last starting on 1 February 2014.
Católica University was originally founded as a university football team for Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, a Catholic university in Quito. In 1962, they won the inter-university championship. Soon after, they became a football club on June 26, 1963 under Liga Deportiva de la Universidad Católica.
Universidad San Francisco de Quito is a liberal-arts, non-profit, private university located in Quito, Ecuador. It was the first totally private self-financed university in Ecuador and the first liberal-arts institution in the Andean region.
Academically, USFQ ranks as one of the three-top universities (category A) in the ranking of Ecuadorian universities (being the only totally private university to qualify for the highest category), issued by the Ecuadorian Council of Evaluation and Accreditation of High Education (Consejo Nacional de Evaluación y Acreditación de la Educación Superior CONEA). In 2009, it was ranked first in Ecuador in relation to the number of peer-reviewed scientific publications.
The university now enrolls 5,500 students, 4,500 of whom are undergraduates. The university each year has about 100 indigenous students and 1000 international students participate in USFQ academic programs. USFQ has developed a scholarship program for indigenous students, offering full scholarships to the best students of public high schools throughout Ecuador. Although USFQ receives no funding from the government of Ecuador, its faculty comprises one-half of all the people in that nation who hold a doctorate.
USFQ main campus is located in Cumbayá, outside of Quito (capital city of Ecuador), where students use a library, education and research laboratories, classrooms, and seven restaurants. USFQ is the only university in the world that owns a campus in the Galapagos Islands, and a campus in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve (Tiputini Biodiversity Station), one of Earth's most biodiverse area.
Ingapirca is the largest known Inca ruins in Ecuador. The most significant building is the temple of the sun, an elliptically shaped building constructed around a large rock. The building is constructed in the Inca way without mortar in most of the complex. The stones were carefully chiseled and fashioned to fit together perfectly. The temple of the sun was positioned so that on the solstices, at exactly the right time of day, sunlight would fall through the center of the doorway of the small chamber at the top of the temple. Most of this chamber has fallen down.
The Incas were not the first inhabitants of Ingapirca. It had long been settled by the Cañari indigenous people, who called it Hatun Cañar. The castle-complex presents an Inca-Cañari origin. The objective of its construction is uncertain. The complex played an important role on military strategies as a fortress and provisions to troops on route to northern Ecuador. As the Inca Empire expanded into southern Ecuador, the Inca Túpac Yupanqui encountered the Cañari "Hatun Cañar" tribe and had difficulties in conquering them. In a second attempt, political strategies lead him to marry the Cañari princess and improve the Cañari city of Guapondelig, calling it Pumapungo (nowadays Cuenca).
Inca and Cañari decided to settle their differences and live together peacefully, and the astronomical observatory was built under Inca Huayna Capac. They renamed the city and kept most of their individual customs separate. Although the Inca were more numerous, they did not demand that the Cañari give up their autonomy.
Students can choose between 25 "traditional" universities (public or private) and 35 private ones. There is a single, transparent admission system used by 33 universities (all 25 "traditional" universities and eight private ones which joined in 2011). The test, called PSU, an acronym for University Selection Test (Prueba de Selección Universitaria) is designed and evaluated by the University of Chile, while the system itself is managed by the Ministry of Education (Ministerio de Educación).
The test consists of two mandatory exams, one in Mathematics and one in Language. There are also two additional specific exams, Sciences (including Chemistry, Physics and Biology fields) and History, depending on which undergraduate program the student wishes to apply to. The cumulative grade point average achieved during secondary school is also taken into account in the final admission score, as well as the student's relative position in his class and two previous promotions. Every university assigns different weightings to the results of the various exams for the various programs offered. Some universities may require additional (non-PSU) tests or personal interviews for admission to some programs. In 2010, a total of 250,752 persons took both mandatory PSU tests.
The University of Chile (Spanish: Universidad de Chile) is the largest and oldest institution of higher education in Chile and one of the oldest in Latin America. Founded in 1842 as the replacement and continuation of the former colonial Royal University of San Felipe (1738) (Spanish: Real Universidad de San Felipe), the university is often called Casa de Bello (House of Bello) in honor of its first president, Andrés Bello. Notable alumni include two Nobel laureates (Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral) and twenty Chilean presidents among many others.
The Universidad de Chile was formally opened on 17 September 1843. During this period, the university consisted of five faculties (facultades): Humanities & Philosophy, Physics Sciences & Mathematics, Law & Political Sciences, Medicine, and Theology. By 1931, the number of colleges had increased to six: Philosophy & Education Sciences, Legal & Social Sciences, Biology & Medical Sciences, Physical & Mathematical Sciences, Agronomy & Veterinary, and Fine Arts.
Almost all of Chile's presidents graduated from the University of Chile, including all of those in the 20th century with the exception of Eduardo Frei Montalva (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile), General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo, and former military dictator General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte.
Higher education in Chile in colonial times dates to 19 August 1622, when the first university in Chile, Santo Tomás de Aquino, was founded. On 28 July 1738, its name changed to Real Universidad de San Felipe, in honor of King Philip V of Spain.
The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (UC or PUC) (Spanish: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile) is one of the six Catholic Universities existing in the Chilean university system and one of the two Pontifical Universities in the country, along with the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso. It is also one of Chile's oldest universities and one of the most recognized educational institutions in Latin America. It ranks 1st in South America by QS ranking.
- Casa Central (in downtown Santiago)
- San Joaquín (in Macul Commune of Greater Santiago)
- Oriente (in Providencia Commune of Greater Santiago)
- Lo Contador (also in Providencia Commune)
These four campuses have a total of 223,326.06 m2 constructed in a 614,569.92 m2 area. The Villarrica campus has 1,664 m2 constructed in a 2,362.5 m2 area.
UC was founded on June 21, 1888 by the Santiago Archbishop, to offer training in traditional professions (law) and in technological and practical fields such as business, accounting, chemistry, and electricity. Its first chancellor was Monsignor Joaquín Larraín Gandarillas, and at the very beginning, the university only taught two subjects, law and mathematics. Since it is a Pontifical University, it has always had a strong and very close relationship with the Vatican. On February 11, 1930, Pope Pius XI declared it a pontifical university, and in 1931 it was granted full academic autonomy by the Chilean government.
UC is a private, urban, multi-campus university. It is one of the eleven Chilean Catholic universities, and one of the twenty-five institutions within the Rectors' Council (Consejo de Rectores), the Chilean state-sponsored university system. It is part of the Universities of the Rectors' Council of Chilean Universities, and although it is not state-owned, a substantial part of its budget is given by state transferences under different concepts.
UC's 18 faculties are distributed through four campuses in Santiago and one regional campus located in southern Chile. The technical training centers affiliated with the University are: DUOC, the Rural Life Foundations, the Baviera Foundation, the Catechetical Home and the San Fidel Seminary. These centers carry out technical-academic extension activities in rural and agricultural areas. Other UC activities are a Sports Club, a nation-wide television network, and a Clinical Hospital dependent on the Faculty of Medicine.
UC 's Graduates of the School of Architecture (one of the most prominent in Latin America) have also made important contributions to the country with such work as the Central Building ("Casa Central") of UC, and the National Library.
Two of its most important alumni are the Jesuit Saint Alberto Hurtado and Eduardo Frei Montalva, a Chilean president. Both of them studied in the School of Laws. Sebastián Piñera, previous Chilean president, graduated from the university's School of Economics.
In December 2011, the schools of engineering of PUC and the University of Notre Dame signed an agreement to establish a dual graduate degree in civil engineering and the geological sciences, which now extends to other departments in both schools.
In April 2013, PUC and the University of Notre Dame also signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen scholarly engagement and expand their long-standing relationships. The agreement establishes an exchange program in which faculty, doctoral students and university representatives from each institution will visit, work, study and collaborate with the other institution.
Undergraduate students from all over the world travel tto Easter Island and the Moais. Located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle, Easter Island is an amazing Polynesian island and is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.
Polynesian people settled on Easter Island in the first millennium CE, and created a thriving culture, as evidenced by the moai and other artifacts. However, human activity, the introduction of the Polynesian rat and overpopulation led to gradual deforestation and extinction of natural resources, which caused the demise of the Rapa Nui civilization. By the time of European arrival in 1722, the island's population had dropped to 2,000–3,000 from a high of approximately 15,000 just a century earlier. Diseases carried by European sailors and Peruvian slave raiding of the 1860s further reduced the Rapa Nui population, down to 111 in 1877.
Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. The nearest inhabited land (50 residents) is Pitcairn Island 2,075 kilometres (1,289 mi) away, the nearest town with a population over 500 is Rikitea on island Mangareva 2,606 km (1,619 mi) away, and the nearest continental point lies in central Chile, 3,512 kilometres (2,182 mi) away.
Easter Island is a special territory of Chile that was annexed in 1888. Administratively, it belongs to the Valparaíso Region and more specifically, is the only commune of the Province Isla de Pascua. According to the 2012 census, it has about 5,800 residents, of which some 60% are descendants of the aboriginal Rapa Nui.
Tukuturi, an unusual bearded kneeling moai
All fifteen standing moai at Ahu Tongariki, excavated and restored in the 1990s
Ahu Akivi, one of the few inland ahu, with the only moai facing the ocean
The Universidad Nacional de Asunción, abbreviated UNA, is a public university in Paraguay. Founded in 1889, it is the oldest and most traditional university in the country. When the university just started it had only the Faculties of Law, Medicine and Mathematics, and schools of Clerk, Pharmacy and Obstetrics. Nowadays the UNA has 12 faculties and 2 institutes in 74 careers that take place in different areas of knowledge, offering students the most comprehensive range of vocational training opportunities. The academic community is made up of about 40,000 students and 6,200 teachers.
It also has several institutes and technology centers and research facilities that provide the academic community, both for conducting scientific research, and for the development of postgraduate studies, resulting in contributions to society. The university campus is spread throughout Paraguay, with centers in Pedro Juan Caballero, Caacupé, San Juan Bautista, Santa Rosa Misiones, Caazapá, Villarrica, Coronel Oviedo, Caaguazú, Paraguarí, Villa Hayes, San Pedro, San Estanislao, Cruce Los Pioneros (Boquerón) and Benjamín Aceval.
Education in Peru is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, which is in charge of formulating, implementing and supervising the national educational policy. According to the Constitution, education is compulsory and free in public schools for the initial, primary and secondary levels. It is also free in public universities for students who are unable to pay tuition and have an adequate academic performance. As of 2008, various institutions such as UNESCO, World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank have stated that Peru has the best education system in Latin America and that primary, secondary, and superior education attendance rates were the highest in Latin America. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has however placed Peru at the bottom of the ranking in all three categories (Math, science and reading) in 2012 compared to the 65 nations participating in the study of 15-year-old school pupils' scholastic performance.
Higher education in the form of universities began in Peru with the establishment of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos by the Royal Decree issued by King Carlos V on May 12 in 1551. The institute opened as the Sala Capitular del Convento de Santo Domingo in 1553. In 1571, it obtained Papal approval and in 1574 it received the name of Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos. The precursor to the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, the "Estudio General o Universidad," was established in Cusco by the Dominicans on July 1, 1548. This institution was responsible for teaching evangelists for the new lands, and taught scripture, theology, grammar, and the Quechuan language.
The National University of Saint Anthony the Abbot in Cuzco (UNSAAC) is a public university in Cusco, Peru and one of the oldest in the country. Its foundation was first proposed on March 1, 1692, at the urging and support of Pope Innocent XII. The document in which Pope Innocent XII sponsored the founding of the university was signed in Madrid, Spain by King Charles II on June 1, 1692, thus becoming Cusco's principal and oldest university. The university was authorized to confer the bachelors, licentiate, masters, and doctorate degrees.
Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (Spanish: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, PUCP) is a private university in Lima, Peru. It was founded in 1917 by Catholic priest Father Jorge Dintilhac SS.CC as Peru's first non-profit private institution of higher learning. Academically, PUCP ranks alternatively as first or second in Peru.
In July 2012, after an Apostolic Visitation, begun earlier, in 2011, by Cardinal Peter Erdo, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, the Holy See withdrew from the university the right under canon law to use the titles Catholic and Pontifical in its name, but it was not possible because the legitimate law was the Peruvian Law. However, on Monday, April 28, 2014, the Rector of the University stated that,: "The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has formed a Commission of Cardinals with the mission of meeting to find a 'final, consensual solution,' in the framework of the Apostolic Constitution 'Ex Corde Ecclesiae,' ('From the Heart of the Church') to the outstanding issues" between the Vatican and the University." Besides Cardinal Erdo, the other two Cardinal Members of the Commission will be Cardinal Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, and Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, Archbishop of Santiago de Chile, Chile.
The University began activities in 1917 with two schools: Letters and Laws. In 1933, when the university had more than 500 students, the Schools of Engineering, and Political and Economical Sciences were established. In 1935, the School of Education was created. Later, in 1939, the Academy of Catholic Art was founded, with Adolf Winternitz as its director; the university is still one of only a small number to offer an arts major in Perú.
During the 1960s, Gustavo Gutiérrez O.P., a Peruvian priest and an instructor at the university, developed the first principles of "Liberation Theology", promoting Marxist socialism and pan-Latin American solidarity.
The university claims Catholic affiliation, but is not recognized by the Catholic Church. There are currently 16,000 undergraduate students pursuing 38 different specialties in 10 schools. Its main campus is located in the Lima district of San Miguel, with the newly built Mac Gregor complex.
Outside the main campus there are other facilities such as the IC (Idiomas Católica), a language-learning center, the Confucius Institute PUCP, the cultural center (CCPUCP) located in the district of San Isidro. CENTRUM, a center for business studies featuring doctoral level and MBA programs and located in the district of Santiago de Surco, is also part of PUCP. Inside, there is a Pastoral Counseling Center (CAPU).
The Student body is made up of 17,064 Undergraduates and 4,917 Postgraduatess and 57 Doctoral students as of 2013, 1014 school year.
Education in Uruguay is compulsory for a total of nine years, beginning at the primary level, and is free from the pre-primary through the university level. In 1996, the gross primary enrollment rate was 111.7 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 92.9 percent. Primary school attendance rates were unavailable for Uruguay as of 2001.
The University of the Republic (Spanish: Universidad de la República, sometimes UdelaR) is Uruguay's public university. It is the most important, oldest, and largest university of the country, with a student body of more than 80,000 students. It was founded on July 18, 1849 in Montevideo, where most of its buildings and facilities are still located. Its current Rector is Dr. Roberto Markarián. The process of founding the country's public university began on June 11, 1833 when a law proposed by then-Senator Dámaso Antonio Larrañaga was passed. It called for the creation of nine academic departments; the President of the Republic would pass a decree formally creating the departments once the majority of them were in operation. In 1836 the House of General Studies was formed, housing the departments of Latin, philosophy, mathematics, theology and jurisprudence.
On May 27, 1838, Manuel Oribe passed a decree through which created the Greater University of the Republic. That decree had few practical effects, given the institutional instability of the Oriental Republic of the Uruguay at that time.
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